Your Anecdotes

HOW I GOT TO KNOW PEOPLE: One thing is certainly true, at least in the field of music – It can be a very small world! For the next several entries, I’ll be telling stories about how I got to know some of the players on my recordings. For example, imagine an historical connection between the obscure St. Louis drummer, Lanny Bowles, a much less obscure drummer, named Lenny White (Return To Forever), aspiring Texas politician, Kinky Friedman and Mahavishnu keyboardist, Jan Hammer. Having a hard time with that one?
I’ll try to sort it out for you:

In the year 1970, a year before I moved from my home town, St. Louis, to work and record in New York City, I often would try out new pieces in cafés or in my own basement. During one summer month, a local Rock band virtually lived in our house, and the drummer’s name was Lanny Bowles. The piece I was rehearsing happened to be a Rock version of Keep Changing, a tune which ultimately wound up on my Fanfare 8 cd and featured Elvin Jones, David Liebman and others.
Time went by; I went to NY; I met Jan Hammer, who then was playing acoustic, jazz piano with Elvin’s group shortly before Jan would leave to join Mahavishnu Orch.; I tried out the piece at one of their rehearsals at Jan’s loft but with only limited success, then shelved it until I did finally record my version, in a Latin/Jazz style, with guitarist, Roland Prince, as the chord player. At that point, I thought I had cut off all ties with St. Louis.
Well, who do I run into walking down 6th Ave.? Lanny Bowles! “Lanny, what are you doing here?” – “I’m playing with [country group] ‘Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys’ “ (curious title for a band)
I told him that it was too late for Keep Changing, but I really needed a drummer to fill in a short phrase on a Rock piece of mine, called Septet Extended, for which Lenny White played 95% of the drum part but could not be in town for the recording of a short section in the 2nd half of the piece (I would tend not to use Elvin on Rock pieces). Anyway, Lanny’s a fine drummer and did a great job, so that evening we all celebrated by going down to CBGB’s to hear Kinky’s group with Lanny on drums, and thus completing the rather unlikely (unless you’re a musician) timeline of, get ready: Lanny Bowles, Elvin Jones, Jan Hammer, Lenny White, Kinky Friedman, and back to Lanny Bowles. Yes, it’s a very strange world (unless you’re a musician).
Tune in for my next entry in about 5 days to a week when I’ll tell you few (and hopefully shorter) stories about HOW I GOT TO KNOW PEOPLE.

4 Responses to “Your Anecdotes”

  1. Andy Says:

    Fun read, Fred. To think you met all these guys ! Are you going to work with any of them again?

  2. Reinhardt Says:

    Fred, it’s an amazing list of first-rate drummers. Why didn’t you use Elvin for your rock pieces?

  3. Will Riley Says:

    A good read Fred… keep these posts coming…

  4. pokemon Says:

    Amazing site.
    Thanks, webmaster.

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